Changes to Rural Permitted Development Rights – 21st May 2024

Changes to Rural Permitted Development Rights – 21st May 2024

Permitted development rights exist to provide certainty for specified forms of development and to remove the time and cost of applying for planning permission.

The government has brought in amendments to four permitted development rights that relate to barn conversions, farm diversification schemes and agricultural development.

The changes are intended to provide greater planning flexibility to encourage rural growth, housing delivery and support the agricultural sector.

The headline changes to the General Permitted Development Order are set out below:

Part 3, Class Q – Conversion of Agricultural Buildings to Dwellinghouses

The right allows up to a total of 10 dwellinghouses to be delivered and 1,000 sqm of floorspace to change use (an increase from the previous 5 units and 865 sqm).

The provisions for larger and smaller dwellinghouses are replaced by a maximum floorspace per dwellinghouse of 150sqm (previously a complicated combination of smaller dwellings and larger dwellings was possible).

As part of the changes, the erection of a single storey rear extension is permitted providing that does not extend beyond the rear wall of the existing building by more than 4 metres and is on land covered by an existing hard surface. Also, protrusions to the external dimensions of the building of up to 0.2 metres to accommodate fixtures and fittings, such as window sills and guttering (previously works could not extend beyond the existing building).

An additional advantage for owners is that far more barns will qualify under Class Q, including a former agricultural building that was, but is no longer, part of an established agricultural unit.

Part 3, Class R – Conversion of Agricultural Buildings to Flexible Commercial

The changes increase the amount of floorspace that can change use from 500sqm to 1,000sqm and expands the range of changes of use in relation to an agricultural building and any land within its curtilage.

These new changes will now include general industrial purposes and use as an area or place for outdoor sports or recreation. General industrial purposes are limited to the processing of raw goods (excluding livestock) which, other than ancillary goods, are produced and sold on the site.

Part 6, Class A – Development on Agricultural Units of 5 Hectares +

The changes increase the ground area which may be covered by a new, extended or altered agricultural building from 1,000 to 1,500sqm.

Part 6, Class B – Development on Agricultural Units between 1 and 5 hectares

Increases the limit on the maximum cubic content by which an agricultural building may be increased from 20% to 25% and increases the limit on the ground area of any building extended under Class B from 1,000sqm to 1,250sqm.

Thankfully, there are transitional provisions included in the Order, which allow critical parts of the existing provisions to extend for 12 months up to 21st May 2025.

If you have agricultural buildings that are not being used anymore, we can assist you in navigating through the Permitted Development Rights process to discover their untapped potential and transform them into income generating assets. Our team of expert planning consultants are available to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Published 3rd May 2024

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